Bob Kerr, Grim Reaper
Bob Kerr tries to make it seem as if he wants more news coverage of the various war efforts in which the United States is currently engaged:
… this week, we learn there is even less effort than before to keep the wars, especially the war in Iraq, in front of the people who pay the bills.
A New York Times story, which ran in The Journal Monday, points out that the three major networks have substantially reduced their coverage in Iraq.
Think about how seldom war intrudes into that string of commercials for erectile dysfunction and enlarged prostate treatments that make up so much of a nightly 30-minute newscast. Think about how often Brian or Charlie or Katie signs off at 7 p.m. after giving more time to panda cubs than to Americans fighting wars.
But as one reads his column, the sense emerges that he’s mainly interested in a particular storyline’s being offered:
War just doesn’t draw. We’ve got two going on right now and both might last longer than the Vietnam War and mess us up in ways we never imagined. And yet we know so little of the daily grind. People who decide such things have apparently decided there’s just no return in letting us know the grim details.
It’s the “grim details” that Kerr would reap. Such details as those pushed out in the journalistically romantic time of a war in a country with a name, as I recall, beginning with a “V.” (We’ve heard so little about that war, as I’ve grown up, that it’s easy to forget the nation.) Details such as “a Marine setting fire to a thatched roof with his Zippo.” Kerr starts by mentioning the mothers of the fallen, but the first thought that comes to his mind — when he considers what images we might not be receiving from the media — is those sons’ potential for atrocities.
One can hardly be surprised, by his final words, that Kerr believes we must learn from our wars so that we don’t “do the same crazy stuff all over again,” without suggesting that we might also be accomplishing things that we should replicate in certain circumstances in the future. It must hardly pierce his worldview that the American people would also benefit from reportage of the mundane, but uplifting, details of foundation building.